David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, is set to helm a big-screen adaptation of the popular and long-running TV series Doctor Who. For those unfamiliar with the series, it follows an alien known as The Doctor who goes around with a human companion on mostly episodic adventures across space and time. The Doctor is a “Time Lord” who travels in the TARDIS (which looks like a 1960s-style London police box), and he can be incarnated in different forms (i.e. new actors) up to twelve times and TV show is currently on the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). However, Yates says his version will not follow the current TV series and will be a completely fresh approach. It’s a smart move because you don’t risk angering fans of the TV series, or forcing newcomers to catch up with a show that’s been on and off and back on the air from 1963 to 1989 and rebooted in 2005.
Hit the jump for more details on the movie.
Yates tells Variety,
“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”
This past weekend, Yates told Steve that he plans to work on a smaller movie before jumping back into blockbuster studio fare (Yates was previously attached to follow up Harry Potter with a blockbuster remake/re-adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand). Presumably, Yates will do script-stage work on Doctor Who while he does his smaller movie. Yates says,
“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right,” he said. “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”
Yates and producer Jane Tranter are currently looking at writers in the UK and the US even though Doctor Who has always been a British TV series. However, the “British sensibility” won’t be lost, “but having said that,” notes Yates, “Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too.”
Yates found the material appealing because “the notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time.” I’ve never seen an episode of Doctor Who, but Yates did an outstanding job on Harry Potter and I think Who fans should be excited to have such a talented director on the job. But perhaps Who fans feel differently, so sound off in the comments section about Yates getting the job and what you want to see in a big-screen Doctor Who movie.